Exchange is part of Fatca, a tax-evasion-detection program enacted in 2010

The Internal Revenue Service has kicked off a new program under which it shares large amounts of individuals’ financial-account information with certain foreign countries, the agency said Friday.

The IRS said it received digital information about U.S. taxpayers’ foreign accounts from governments and firms around the world, and it sent information on foreigners’ U.S. accounts to government authorities in as many as 34 countries. While governments have exchanged such information in the past, the sharing wasn’t automatic and the scope was often far narrower. The deadline for the exchange to begin was Sept. 30.

“This groundbreaking effort has fundamentally altered our relationship with tax authorities around the world, giving us all a much stronger hand in fighting illegal tax avoidance and leveling the playing field,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in a news release.

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